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Sai Kumar turns entrepreneur, partners Ronnie Screwvala

22-January-2015
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 Sai Kumar turns entrepreneur, partners Ronnie Screwvala

Sai and Ronnie have come together to found a new-­-age digital media company.  Based out of Mumbai, in its first phase, the venture aims at launching a digital brand which will offer multi-­-genre, multi-­-lingual content across video, audio, text and other traditional and new age art forms. The investment envisaged is an outlay of up to Rs 150 crores across two phases – while the first phase would be largely domestic-­- focused, the platform will evaluate new geographies and verticals in its second and subsequent phases.

Speaking to exchange4media.com B Sai Kumar shared “I am excited about the possibilities, we are truly in a digital era and we have to look at content consumption for screenagers and evolve new business models around the mobile consumption. India needs multi lingual digital content and we will build a world class team and product for India with very entrepreneurial and pioneering leaders on our team.”

The venture, with Sai as Managing Director, has roped in Former COO Network18, Ajay Chacko, as CEO and  has  begun  a  global  search  for  talent  in  creative,  product  and  technology  functions  across entertainment, current affairs & infotainment spaces.

Digital media across the world has surpassed traditional broadcast television, radio and print as the primary choice of consumers and marketers. With over 300million Internet users, and around 200 million of these using mobile, India is slated to become the world’s third largest digital media market. This is expected to get a further boost with the government’s Digital India plan and the launch of pan-­- India broadband services by existing operators and well-­-capitalized new players.

The world is witnessing a range of digital-­-first media brands and companies generating tremendous stickiness,     impact     and     value     across     markets and     this     venture aims at     becoming     a large, valuable Indian digital media company with a footprint across geographies and content spaces.

Over the  last  two  and  half decades  Ronnie  has  built  some  of  the  country’s  most  valuable  media businesses and has been an entrepreneur known for disruption and innovation across many verticals and genres; from cable to broadcast, from animation and gaming to motion pictures.

Sai has been instrumental in taking Network18 from a single channel company to a USD 1 billion plus enterprise. As Group CEO of Network18, Sai oversaw the group’s wide range of interests from news and entertainment broadcast to distribution & digital content and commerce. Sai also served on the boards of  Viacom18, Indiacast,  A&E18  and bookmyshow.com among  others. Prior  to  Network18,  Sai  had worked with the Times Group.

Ajay  completed a  decade-­-long  stint  at  Network18 and  was  the COO  of  the  group  in  his  last  held role. Ajay played a pivotal role in the launch of many of the group’s flagship brands across print, TV and digital. He  was  also  responsible  for  consolidating  the  group’s  financial  and  strategic  position  and providing direction to the Network's digital content assets. Prior to Network 18, Ajay had worked with IL&FS, Sharekhan.com as part of its start up team and Indian Express Group.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.